State cabinet ministers swearing-in Thursday

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MUMBAI - The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Wednesday decided to adhere to the 2009 portfolio sharing arrangement, 23-20 respectively, paving the way for the swearing-in of the remaining ministers here Thursday.

The issue was resolved after a marathon meeting between the Congress and NCP leaders at the residence of ailing Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar Wednesday afternoon.

From the Congress side, besides Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state and city Congress chiefs Manikrao Thakre and Kripa Shankar Singh were also present at the meeting.

Besides Pawar, the other NCP leaders present were Praful Patel, state party chief Madhukarrao Pichhad, and new Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Shortly after the meeting ended, Chavan and Patel announced they would stick to the 2009 portfolio sharing arrangement of 23-20 for the Congress and the NCP respectively.

Earlier, Ajit Pawar had demanded one extra portfolio, which would have taken the NCP’s share to 21, but this was rejected by the Congress.

Official sources said the swearing-in ceremony is scheduled at Raj Bhavan Thursday, but the time for it has not been finalised yet.

This will be the second round of swearing-in after Chavan and Pawar were sworn-in last Thursday.

Along with them, nine other NCP ministers, including heavyweights like Chhagan Bhujbal and R.R. Patil also were sworn in.

Filed under: Politics

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